Friday, November 13, 2009

The way advertising works in a postmodern world



I’m thinking about the ways in which media content bleeds into other media content. In this case I was watching a commercial for the Sony Vizio television set, and I’m focusing not on the product (I’m not in the market for a TV set), but on the song. Impressed with the music, I set out on a search. The website adtunes.com informs me that the song is by the electronic group Empire of the Sun and the title of the song is We Are the People. I do more research and find the song on MySpace.com and on Last.fm. Having located the song, I can download it and add it to my music collection for replay on my iPod. This is an unintended use of advertising and it exemplifies, to use a phrase out of cultural studies, the “intertextual web that we weave,” as one form of media content, in this case an advertisement, becomes interconnected with a popular song. This is certainly not the first time I’ve done this. It’s feels like a journey of discovery. I see an ad that attracts my attention because of something that unrelated to the product appeals to me, and I set out to find more about that "thing." On my journey I did visit the Sony website to see if the commercial was playing there, and in the past I have noticed that sometimes companies will “give away” the song on their website. So, perhaps this represents a fair trade-off: on my journey I learn something about the TV set, and I also get a song that I like. From a cultural perspective this represents the "work" advertising does on us, and the "work" we do with it.

5 comments:

Tim said...

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=xkf95onRgcc

Last year when the Geico commercial with the money and the eyes first cam out this song was very popular. On the commercial they even advertised the song, saying it could be downloaded for free on their website. Having such a catchy song offered for free was a good way to attract people to their website. Although Geico used the song very intentionally the vizio commercial seems to be using the same idea.

below is the link to many other songs that can be downloaded on Geico's website.

http://www.geico.com/about/commercials/music/

kdpiper said...

I especially find myself paying attention to music in advertisements, and often at the end of a commercial I cannot really say what the ad was for, but I can tell you it had an awesome song to go with it. As we have reiterated this entire semester, today's measure of advertising's effectiveness is consumers' engagement. By including fun, interesting, and often lesser known music, advertisers are forcing us to engage with advertisements, doing active searches for song titles and, as Dr. Alperstein said, often going to the brand's website to find the source. I remember doing this same thing just two weeks ago, wanting to find the title of the song in the new Bacardi Mojito commercial.

Johanna said...

I can remember a similar situation happening to me a couple years back. I was watching TV and an ad came on featuring an upbeat rock song and an attractive male model driving a sports car, flipping it and drinking Mountain Dew while upside down mid air. The commercial had a powerful effect on me, I thought it was the coolest thing I had ever seen. I went online and went on a crazy goosehunt to find out the song and the actor used in the commercial. I went to the product site, blogs about the product and many other outlets to find what I was looking for. I finally found out that it was a song by Linkin Park and the actor was the soon to be famous actor Channing Tatum. I think this and the above two commercials discussed are great examples of how a commercial with good music and attractive actors can cause someone to become engaged with a brand without even having a desire to learn more about the actual product.

JeffFro said...

After watching this commercial, although the song was enjoyable, I just do not see the appeal in a commercial that have no humor in them. What makes an advertising most memorable for me is humor- this is what makes me remember the product/brand, and commercials this Sony Vizio commercial will not be stuck in my mind once it is over. I have seen commercials like this many times before- with vibrant colors and abstract images, and it just doesn't do it for me. I would have no interest in researching this brand after the commercial is over. Perhaps I am a bit biased in this situation since my father is a big time electronics seller, so maybe I subconsciously ignore television advertisement commercials about new electronic products- all I need to do is ask my father which television has the best value for my dollar. In conclusion, if I were to engage in buying a new television through commercials, it would have to be funny and memorable for myself to even mention that brand in the future. In addition, I also like celebrity endorsers for products and feel that they are a more effective tool in selling products- especially is the celebrity is someone I really like. Sony Vizio, although a very high class television brand, needs to create new commercials that will better catch the attention of their target audiences- bright colors and quick-cutting images just doesn't do it for me anymore- it is not too original and leaves me with no interest to pursue a purchase from Sony.

mmbyrne said...

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=wVN9rHhwK3A

Lately, I've been obsessed with the Cadillac SRX commercial. The music makes that commercial great. It's a song by Pheonix called "1901," I knew of the song beforehand, but it reminded me how amazing it was. Commercials have the ability of being able to remind us of just how much we might love/hate a song. Similarly, when a song is sung on American Idol, check iTunes a day or so later and you will notice that an old song was suddenly revived and into the Top 10 most downloaded songs. I have caught that happening many times before.